Quentin Tarantino Apologised For His 2003 Comments About Roman Polanski's Victim

Photo: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage.

Update: 8th February 2018

Quentin Tarantino apologised for his comments made during a 2003 interview on The Howard Stern Show.

"I want to publicly apologise to Samantha Geimer for my cavalier remarks on The Howard Stern Show speculating about her and the crime that was committed against her," Tarantino said in a statement provided to Indiewire. "Fifteen years later, I realise how wrong I was. Ms. Geimer WAS raped by Roman Polanski."

The statement continues, "When Howard brought up Polanski, I incorrectly played devil’s advocate in the debate for the sake of being provocative. I didn’t take Ms. Geimer’s feelings into consideration and for that I am truly sorry."

Update: 7th February 2018

Samantha Geimer, the victim in the 1977 case against director Roman Polanski, responded to Quentin Tarantino's recirculated comments.

"[Tarantino] was wrong. I bet he knows it," Geimer told the New York Daily News. "I hope he doesn't make an ass of himself and keep talking that way."

She added graciously, "Nobody has to be pissed off on my behalf. I'm okay."

Original story follows.

Following Uma Thurman's revealing interview with the New York Times, Jezebel uncovered audio footage via a reader tip of Quentin Tarantino defending Roman Polanski on Howard Stern's radio show in 2003.

"He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape...he had sex with a minor. That’s not rape," Tarantino says in the interview. He then explains that, in his eyes, rape is "violent," and Polanski's sexual encounter with a 13-year-old can't be classified as such.

In 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty for the statutory rape of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer. According to Geimer's account, which she detailed for the umpteenth time in an essay for the LA Times in 2003, Polanski gave her a Quaalude and some Champagne before raping her in Jack Nicholson's California home. Polanski served 42 days in prison in California before fleeing to Europe, where he is still a fugitive of the U.S. justice system.

When Stern's co-host Robin Quivers pointed out that Geimer was allegedly drugged at the time of the 1977 incident, Tarantino protested.

"No, that was not the case at all. She wanted to have it and dated the guy," the director said.

As per Geimer's 2003 essay, which was a dispassionate defense of Polanski, she did not date Polanski, nor did she want to have intercourse with him.

"It was not consensual sex by any means. I said no, repeatedly, but he wouldn't take no for an answer. I was alone and I didn't know what to do," she wrote. She went on to request that the case be dropped, a cause she's maintained over the years. (In 2017, as per the New York Times, Geimer asked a Los Angeles judge to drop the case, claiming the 40-year legal proceedings had had an adverse affect on her life.)

Tarantino's comments reflect poorly on an interview he gave to Deadline regarding Thurman's recent revelations in the Times. Thurman told op-ed writer Maureen Dowd that Tarantino abused her on set, claiming he put her life in jeopardy when he asked her to perform an unsafe driving stunt for Kill Bill. She also said that during filming Tarantino performed various acts of abuse on her for the camera. He spat on her face in one scene and choked her with a chain for another.

"Naturally, I did it. Who else should do it? A grip?" Tarantino said in the interview. He gave a similar answer regarding the chain strangulation. Explained Tarantino, "I can act all strangle-ey, but if you want my face to get red and the tears to come to my eye, then you kind of need to choke me." Tarantino also strangled actress Diane Kruger for a shot in Inglorious Basterds, also because he wanted the asphyxiation to look realistic.

Refinery29 has reached out to representation for Tarantino regarding his 2003 comments on Howard Stern. Listen to the full audio, below.

If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.

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